Now in his forties and a prominent politician in his homeland, Manny Pacquiao certainly doesn’t have anything left to prove in the ring. A 12 time titlist who has fought a veritable whose who of his era, Pacquiao could choose to never slip on a pair of gloves again, and would still be regarded as an all time great. Indeed, Pacquiao’s last fight, an upset win against young powerhouse Keith Thurman, could be regarded as the perfect swan song. Yet…Pacquiao isn’t done fighting yet. Now middle aged, the Filipino icon wishes to continue on in the fight business.
“We still have sessions in March,” Pacquiao told the Daily Tribune, “so there’s no way I am going to fight during that time.” After saying that, however, Pacquiao gave his homeland publication a bit of interesting news. “I think I can do two next year,” he claimed, speaking of course, of professional fights. Although he was unable to fight this year – thanks to Covid 19 – Pacquiao did indeed fight twice in 2019, a year where he bested Thurman and Adrien Broner respectively. It was quite a 12 month period, as Pacquiao, who was considered over the hill, bested not one, but two of a newer generation of fighter’s bigger names.
In an era where Floyd Mayeather is engaging in exhibition bouts, Pacuqiao’s name is still being thrown about as a sign of serious, and lucrative, competition. So eager are younger dominant fighters to face Pacquiao that they are willing to eschew fighting each other for the chance to. Still, it’s worth keeping in mind the fact that, after 2019, Pacquiao had proven he was no easy competition for anyone. He is currently the WBA welterweight champion, after all. Coupled with his name, which is one of the more recognizable in all sports, it’s easy to see why so many are so eager to get in the ring with Pacquiao.
At present, Pacquiao is, or recently was, the target of such fighters as fellow welterweight champions, Bud Crawford and Errol Spence, as well as UFC star Conor McGregor. Pacquiao is currently the only active boxer to be a legitimate crossover star. To defeat the legend known as PacMan, even in an aging or past his prime state, would be to mark a major win for a contemporary top fighter, a kind of passing of the torch. First, though, that fighter would actually have to defeat the sitting Filipino Senator….something many have tried, but most have failed to do.